The 440 in attendance may have been the smallest hometown crowd The Goo Goo Dolls have played in front of since their club days. The intimate setting of the Bear’s Den was the perfect place for the band to perform making for a very memorable evening. Dubbed The Otis Midnight Sessions, the band is currently in the midst of a spring acoustic tour in support of their latest release Magnetic.
Singer Johnny Rzeznik came out alone to start the show as he prepared to break out the first song “Sympathy,” he did something he seldom gets a chance to do, he talked to the sold out crowd. Normally a little reserved in concert the Goos simply let the music play and keep talking to a minimum. With the setup of the acoustic tour playing the smaller houses, they were able to tell some stories and share some of their experiences. Bassist Robby Takac joined his cohort on stage halfway through “Two Days In February” which incidentally was the oldest song in the bands one hour and forty-five minute, twenty song set.
Rzeznik talked about how he felt “Name” was not the song he wanted as a single when it was released. He felt it showed the band sold-out and shied away from their early punk beginnings. It wasn’t until his manager at the time said to him you don’t get to choose what people like. He said he appreciates the song more today and as attested by the crowd’s ovation, the bands breakthrough song is still cherished to this day.
The band appeased the long time fans by digging into 1993s Superstar Car Wash for a couple of cuts. It was a treat to see the band play “Already There” and “We Are The Normal,” a pair of seldom played songs that until this tour, weren’t performed live in over ten years.
The fans also received a bonus in the form of revered drummer Kenny Aronoff. Aronoff who is a top session and touring skins-man joined the band for “Broadway” as he has been doing some electric gigs with the band and is currently traveling with them for a few dates.
The show was also augmented by Los Angeles band Run River North who backed up the band with several instruments and vocal harmonies. The band has been opening up for the Goo Goo Dolls but due to logistics weren’t able to open this show, much to the bewilderment of Rzeznik.
The band has kept very busy as they will also be in town later this month for a fan club only show at the recently restored North Park Theatre as well as a trip out to the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in August with Daughtry.
To witness the atmosphere inside the Bear’s Den was quite a sight to see. To see the local boys make it big, returning home and playing in a large venue is one thing. There is something more special seeing a show in the prestigious Bear’s Den known for its great sight-lines and impeccable sound. Anyone who was lucky enough to score a ticket may very well have seen the show of the year.
Two Days in February
We’ll Be Here (When You’re Gone)
We Are the Normal
Come to Me
Can’t Let It Go
Think About Me
Bringing on the Light
Happiest of Days
Slow It Down
Special thanks to Jill Augusto for providing the credentials for us to review the show